With her stunning vocalism and vast dramatic range, American soprano Elizabeth Futral has embraced a repertoire that ranges from the Baroque to world premieres.
A native of Louisiana, she studied at Indiana University. She joined the Lyric Opera Center for American Artists at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, won the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions in 1991 and was catapulted to stardom with critically acclaimed performances of Delibes’ Lakmé at New York City Opera in 1994. Career milestones soon followed, cementing her star status: a win in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia Competition, the title role in Rossini’s Matilde di Shabran in Pesaro, her debut at the San Francisco Opera as Stella in the world premiere of André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire, and her Metropolitan Opera debut in a new production of Lucia di Lammermoor.
Since that time she has returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Princess Eudoxie in a new production of La Juive, Princess Yeuyang in the world premiere of Tan Dun’s The First Emperor, Elvira in I Puritani, and additional performances of Lucia. With the Lyric Opera of Chicago she has sung a vast range of roles including Cunegonde in Candide, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Handel’s Partenope, La Traviata, and The Merry Widow. She has notable relationships with the Washington, Houston, Santa Fe, Los Angeles, New York City, Vancouver and Minnesota opera companies. Internationally, she has been heard at the Royal Opera Covent Garden, the Bayerische Staatsoper, the Staatsoper and Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Theater an der Wien, among other houses.
During the 2015–16 season Ms. Futral appeared as the Beggar Woman in a new production of Sweeney Todd at the San Francisco Opera, the title role in the Merry Widow for the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Lori Laitman’s The Scarlett Letter for Opera Colorado.
Ms. Futral debuted with the New York Philharmonic in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 under Zubin Mehta and has returned there for Handel’s Messiah with Neville Marriner and Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio with Colin Davis. Other orchestral highlights include Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini with Colin Davis and the London Symphony, To Be Certain of the Dawn with Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra, the Brahms Requiem with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, arias and duets with Plácido Domingo and the Chicago Symphony led by Daniel Barenboim, and a New Year’s Eve gala with Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic.
In demand for contemporary repertoire, Ms. Futral has sung the world premieres of Ricky Ian Gordon’s 27 at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne at the San Francisco Opera, Andre Previn’s Brief Encounter at the Houston Grand Opera, Philip Glass’s Orphée for the American Repertory Theatre, Ricky Ian Gordon’s Orpheus and Euridice for Great Performers at Lincoln Center, Dominic Argento’s Evensong: Of Love and Angels at the National Cathedral, and Stephen Paulus’ Three Poems of Dylan Thomas with the Tucson Symphony.